Afghanistan's Taliban authorities have ordered beauty parlours across the country to shut within a month.
Mohammad Sadeq Akif Muhajir, spokesman for the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, would not say why the order had been given.
"Once they are closed then we will share the reason with the media," he said on Tuesday.
He said the businesses had been given time to close their affairs so they could use up their stock without incurring losses.
A copy of the order seen by AFP said it was "based on verbal instruction from the supreme leader" Hibatullah Akhundzada.
The order will force the closure of thousands of businesses run by women - often the only source of income for households - and outlaw one of the few remaining opportunities for them to socialise away from home.
Since seizing power in August 2021, the Taliban government has barred girls and women from high schools and universities, banned them from parks, funfairs and gyms, and ordered them to cover up in public.
Women have also mostly been barred from working for the United Nations or NGOs, and thousands have been sacked from government jobs or are being paid to stay at home.
"Among the worst in the world"
UN Deputy High Commissioner for Human Rights Nada Al Nashif said: "Over the past 22 months, every aspect of women's and girls' lives has been restricted."
"They are discriminated against in every way."
A report to the UN's Human Rights Council last week by Richard Bennett, the special rapporteur for Afghanistan, said the plight of women and girls in Afghanistan "was among the worst in the world".
"Grave, systematic and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls is at the heart of Taliban ideology and rule," Bennett said.
Akhundzada, who rarely appears in public and rules by decree from the Taliban's birthplace in Kandahar, said last month Afghan women were being saved from "traditional oppressions" by the adoption of Islamic governance and their status as "free and dignified human beings" restored.